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LSU, two B1G schools will have most players on Super Bowl rosters

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The LSU Tigers football program represented the sport well in winning the 2019 national championship, and now they’re set to be well-represented when the next level crowns its Super Bowl champion as well.

Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs again overcame an early deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game. In the NFC championship game, the San Francisco 49ers pummeled the Green Bay Packers to earn a berth opposite the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. That game will be played at the home of the Miami Hurricanes, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Feb. 2.

The 49ers, seeking their first Super Bowl win since 1994, have four former LSU football players currently listed on their official online roster*. The Chiefs, in search of their first title since 1969, have one former LSU football player on their Super Bowl roster. That total of five is tied for the most for a single school in this year’s game.

The number for LSU is matched by a pair of schools from the Big Ten — Iowa and Penn State — for the most players on Super Bowl rosters this year. Three former Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes play for the 49ers, two for the Chiefs.

Two SEC schools, Florida and Vanderbilt, each have four former players as part of the game, as does Stanford. Middle Tennessee State and San Diego State are two of a gaggle of schools with three players on teams playing in the game, which is the most of any Group of Five conference member.

Conference-wise, it was the SEC leading the way (again) with 32 players, followed by the Big Ten’s 22. The ACC (17), Pac-12 (16), Big 12 (12) and Conference USA (11) were the only other FBS leagues in double digits.

As for the other conferences?

  • Mountain West, nine
  • AAC, six
  • MAC, five
  • Sun Belt, four

Football independents accounted for six players. There were a total of 21 players who played at levels of football other than the FBS.

Below are all of the individual schools that will be represented on Super Sunday:

FIVE
Iowa
LSU
Penn State

FOUR
Florida
Stanford
Vanderbilt

THREE
Arizona
Auburn
Clemson
Kansas State
Middle Tennessee State
Mississippi State
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Pittsburgh
San Diego State
South Carolina

TWO
Alabama
BYU
Central Michigan
Duke
FAU
Florida State
Georgia Southern
Michigan
Michigan State
NC State
Ole Miss
Oregon
Purdue
Southern Miss
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
USF
Utah
Virginia

ONE
Air Force
Alabama A&M
Appalachian State
Arizona State
Arkansas
Baylor
Boston College
Bowling Green State
Buffalo
Cal
Cincinnati
Colorado
Colorado State
Colorado State-Pueblo
Eastern Illinois
Eastern Michigan
Eastern Washington
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Grand Valley State
Harvard
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
James Madison
Louisiana Tech
Louisiana
McGill (Canada)
Minnesota
Montana State
New Hampshire
New Mexico State
North Texas
Northern Illinois
Northern Iowa
Oklahoma State
Old Dominion
Oregon State
Princeton
Samford
San Diego
San Jose State
SMU
South Carolina State
TCU
Temple
Texas Tech
UConn
Utah State
Valdosta State
Villanova
Virginia Tech
Wagner
Washington
West Alabama
Western Illinois
Western Kentucky
Wyoming

(*Includes players on injured reserve, practice squad, etc.)

Mike MacIntyre one of two coaches added to Memphis staff

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As Ryan Silverfield assembles his first Memphis Tigers football staff, he’s turned to a former head coach to assume an important role.

Early Thursday afternoon, Memphis confirms that Silverfield has named Mike MacIntyre as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.  The school noted that the addition is pending completion of State of Tennessee hiring protocols.

MacIntrye has been an FBS head coach twice, at Colorado (2013-18) and San Jose State (2010-12).

“Mike was the perfect fit to lead our defense,” said the Memphis Tigers football head coach in a statement. “Just three years ago, he was the National Coach of the Year. He is a Bill Parcells disciple with five years coaching in the NFL. He graduated from high school in Nashville and has deep roots in this state.

“He is a leader of men on and off the field. Coach Mac has nine years of head coaching experience and will be a tremendous asset to our program. He and his wife, Trisha, can’t wait to get to Memphis!”

Last season, MacIntyre was the defensive coordinator at Ole Miss.  He’s also been a coordinator at Duke (2008-09) and Temple (1997-98).

In addition to MacIntyre, the Memphis Tigers football program also confirmed the hiring of Charles Clark as defensive backs coach.  Like MacIntyre, Clark spent the 2019 season at Ole Miss.

For two seasons (2017-18), Clark was the cornerbacks coach at Oregon. He was also a part of MacIntyre’s Colorado staff, as safeties coach in 2013 and 2014 and cornerbacks coach in 2015 and 2016.

“Charles is a home run hire,” Silverfield said. “He is a very well-respected man and defensive backs coach. He has great ties to this region and has been very successful at every stop. Not only does Charles do a tremendous job on the field, but he mentors his players and develops great relationships off the field. It is always good to have another coach from the 904 here in the 901! We are so excited to have Charles, his wife, Kristie, and their family move up the road to join us here in Memphis.”

Duke RB Brittain Brown enters transfer portal

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When it comes to the ever-present portal, the Duke Blue Devils football program was the latest to see a player hit it.

A Duke football official has confirmed that Brittain Brown‘s name has been entered into the NCAA transfer database.  The running back will likely leave as a graduate transfer as he is on schedule to earn his bachelor’s degree from the university in May.

If that happens, he would be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2020.

Despite such a recent entry into the portal, Brown is already drawing Power Five interest.  According to 247Sports.com, Colorado, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin have already reached out to the back.

Per NCAA rules, schools are permitted to contact players in the portal without receiving permission from the player’s current school.  The player, in this case Brown, could also return to his original school.

In four seasons with the Duke Blue Devils football team, Brown has rushed for 1,126 yards and 10 touchdowns on 222 carries.  His best season was his second as he ran for 701 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 5.4 yards per carry as a redshirt freshman.

Brown’s last two seasons were marred by injuries.  A shoulder injury cost him four games in 2018, while another shoulder injury sidelined him for the last two months this past season.

Colorado football adds Ivy League grad transfer LB Brendan Pyne

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The Colorado football locker room, if nothing else, got a little smarter for the 2020 season.

Friday, Colorado announced the addition of Brendan Pyne to Mel Tucker‘s roster.  At least initially, the linebacker comes to Boulder as a walk-on.  He will join the team for the spring semester, the school stated.

“He’s a highly productive defensive player,” the head coach said in a statement. “He plays multiple positions; he could play inside linebacker or at our star position. I’ve known about him all the way back to his days at IMG, where he was a team captain. He’ll come in and compete for playing time. We’re very excited about him.”

Pyne played at Brown from 2016-19 and has one season of eligibility remaining. Because of Ivy League rules that require players to use all of their eligibility in their first four years, it triggered the Florida native’s decision to transfer.

A starter the past three seasons, Pyne led Brown in tackles in 2019.  His eight tackles for loss in 2019 ranks 10th in the Ivy League.

“I’m excited to go Colorado and to play for Mel Tucker,” Pyne said. “I always dreamed of playing in the Power 5, and I decided to take a chance on myself. I’m looking forward to being the best teammate I can be and help win football games.”

Pyne’s great-grandfather, grandfather and father all spent time in the NFL.  His uncle, Jim Pyne, was an All-American at Virginia Tech and played for nine seasons in the NFL.  During the Early Signing Period this past week, Pyne’s younger brother, four-star quarterback Drew Pyne, signed with Notre Dame.

On top of all that, another grandparent, Paul Harney, is in the PGA Golf Hall of Fame.

Even with all of that familial success, Pyne is carving out his own impressive path.  From CU’s release:

Off the field, he served as a teaching assistant at Brown for two Business Entrepreneurial classes and was a Digital Media Intern at the NBC Sports Group. He also interned for two years with the Sports Media Advisors Group where he constructed a marking overview on sports gambling and advised Duke Basketball on social media strategy. He also interned for Learfield while at Brown and he has also volunteered for the Special Olympics.

Apple reportedly interested in Pac-12 sports rights

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#Pac12AfterDark may be coming directly to an iPhone near you in the not too distant future.

In a report that is bound to have a significant impact on the entire sports media landscape, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has held preliminary talks with the Pac-12 to potentially bring things like the conference’s football games onto the company’s recently launched streaming service:

More recently, Mr. Cue met with Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott about the conference’s effort to sell an equity stake in its media rights package, valued at up to $5 billion, that includes the Pac-12 Networks and all marquee football, basketball and live sports programming that is fully available in 2024, according to people familiar with the discussions. The conference includes the University of Southern California, Oregon University and Stanford University.

Mr. Cue has questioned the value of a deal with the Pac-12 because it would only give Apple rights to some games, people familiar with his thinking said. He also recognized that if Apple ever secured rights to all of the conference’s best programming, it would need to show some of those games on traditional, broadcast TV to satisfy fans.

It’s not known how far along the talks were (or are) but the Pac-12 has been focused for much of the past 18 months on trying to find a strategic and equity partner in both their conference and its media assets. A company like Apple would certainly qualify for both as it has both the cash on hand and the need to both program a new internet streaming service, Apple+, and get people to pay for it.

Linking up with Apple in even a limited capacity would be a coup for both the conference and its embattled commissioner either way. Unlike their Power Five peers that have limited packages of media rights coming to the market in the early 2020’s, the Pac-12 will see it’s entire sports portfolio from football to water polo come up for grabs at the same time. Scott has often refrained that this is a very unique situation and will help the conference catch up quickly to leagues like the Big Ten and SEC, which generate millions more in TV rights now and into the future.

Who knows if the two Silicon Valley entities ever wind up in business together but the simple fact that a powerful company like Apple is showing at least a little interest in something like Pac-12 football is the best news the conference of champions has had in several years.